Opening and Closings in 2012

wineWe are now well into 2013 and things should be settling down in our local wining and dining world. Many new restaurants opened last year, but, sadly, a few we loved also closed their doors. Here is a partial list of openings and closings in 2012.

Green Valley Grill, possibly the most popular restaurant in Watsonville, closed its doors in October. Fortunately two new places opened up in the area—the Beach Street Café, and the California Grill in Freedom.

The last day of Le Cigare Volant on the Westside was New Year’s Eve, and as Nuevo Southwest Grill said goodbye, Lago di Como opened up in its place. We welcome this Italian eatery to East Cliff Drive. Suda also opened on Portola Drive.

The very popular Acapulco closed its doors, as did the nearby Aqua Bleu on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz. Both these restaurants were tried-and-true eateries, so it came as a surprise that they shut up shop.

Backstage Lounge gave up the spotlight and Oyunaa’s Mongolian Cuisine opened in its place—right next to the Rio Theatre on Soquel Avenue. It’s always good to have some totally different food to try.

Avanti Restaurant opened in a brand new spot, and started a pizza place in their old quarters—both on Mission Street in Santa Cruz. Tramonti on Seabright Avenue is one of the newest pizza places in town, along with Bantam on the Westside.

Focaccia on Water Street rose like a phoenix out of the ashes of what was Mexitalian—with a much more appealing name and a bona fide Italian owner from Calabria.

Sadly, the Britannia Arms in Aptos abruptly closed, but the Britannia Arms in Capitola Village still rules the waves— always guaranteeing a good pint of ale.

Solaire was one of the most noticeable restaurant openings last year in the new Hotel Paradox on Ocean Street, a great addition to downtown, and with an executive chef who knows his onions. burger. on Mission Street opened a second burger. on Soquel Drive in Aptos. Burger lovers can now get their fix in what used to be the Aptos Lounge.

Ma Maison in Aptos closed abruptly, and so did Peachwood’s in the Inn at Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz. Sad to see both of these places bite the dust.

Although Capitola Coffee Roasters & Patisserie closed its location in Capitola Village, it opened up again in the Capitola Book Cafe on 41st Avenue—giving book lovers and coffee aficionados a chance to browse and sip.

Casablanca Restaurant has closed temporarily, with a notice on their website that they will inform everybody when they’re opening again.

And last, but not least, we have a brand new Italian restaurant in Ben Lomond, Casa Nostra. It opened where Ciao Bella used to be.

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